Lee de Paauw is one lucky guy. He was grabbed by a three-metre crocodile while climbing out of Queensland's Johnstone River after being dared to jump in.
The 18-year-old admits he only agreed to the dangerous stunt as a way to score a date with British backpacker Sophie Paterson, 9 News reports.
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“It was all worth it. She’s beautiful, caring and kind,” Lee said.
The publication adds that Sophie - who was the one who initially dared Lee to jump into the river - has now agreed to a movie date.
Sophie and her friends met Lee earlier that fateful evening at the hostel she was staying at and, after sharing a few drinks, Lee bragged about swimming across the notorious crocodile-infested river.
“He was talking about the local creek saying ‘I can swim out’ and so we said, ‘go on then’, but we didn’t think he would do it,” Sophie explained to The Courier Mail.
“He sort of made this claim ‘I’ll swim out and back’, (and) at first we just said ‘don’t be so ridiculous’ and didn’t think he was going to go through with it," she said.
“It all happened very fast, pretty much as soon as he jumped in, there was splashing and screaming.”
While Lee survived the terrifying encounter, his left arm suffered “significant injuries” but is “still intact, which is very fortunate," says a Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) officer who was called to the scene. It seems Lee was able to struggle free of the croc by punching it with his right arm.
After pulling himself from the water, Lee was taken to Innisfail Hospital and later transferred to Cairns Hospital. He’s in a stable condition, set to undergo surgery.
WATCH: Lee explains his motives behind the daring stunt.
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